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Reuters Health Information (2012-03-08): HCV drug Victrelis (boceprevir) wins UK cost endorsement


HCV drug Victrelis (boceprevir) wins UK cost endorsement

Last Updated: 2012-03-08 19:25:19 -0400 (Reuters Health)

LONDON (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Merck & Co's new hepatitis C drug Victrelis (boceprevir) has been recommended for use within Britain's state health service, despite its hefty price tag.

The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, which often spurns expensive new medicines on cost grounds, said significant improvements seen with Victrelis made it a cost-effective option.

The drug is designed for use in combination with peginterferon alfa and ribavirin for patients with liver disease due to genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C, the most common form.

It costs 30,800 pounds ($48,400) for a 44-week course, with the other two drugs increasing the bill by around 11,000 pounds.

The draft guidance from NICE is now open for consultation before the agency finally issues it.

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